Our 15 Most Popular Dinner Party Recipes From the 1970s

a bowl of linguini with fresh peas, asparagus, and herbs topped with grated Parmesan
Photo: Deb Berger

Ready to throw a dinner party fit for the 1970s? Then we have the recipes for you. From appetizers, to entrées, to desserts, and drinks, we've got every course covered for your next throwback celebration. The key to these recipes is simplicity, yet elegance — it's all about presentation people! It doesn't matter how long it takes you in the kitchen, just as long as it looks as good as it tastes — and these recipes do just that. These delicious recipes will leave your dinner party guests craving more and supply you with plenty of compliments in return. So, what are you waiting for? Scroll through and take notes!

01 of 16

Cheese Ball

The cheese ball is the ultimate '70s party appetizer — and this classic chive and green olive cheese ball is sure to be a hit. Just roll that bad boy into a ball and serve it with crackers, it's really that simple.

02 of 16

Cheese Fondue

low angle looking at a piece of bread dipped into cheese fondu
dotdash meredith food studios

More cheese, please! Impress your guests with a steaming pot of gooey, melty cheese fondue. Serve this tasty interactive app with bread, apples, or potatoes.

03 of 16

Hawaiian Meatballs

These meatballs are the perfect combination of sweet and savory. They're cooked in a brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, and pineapple juice sauce and served alongside pineapple chunks and green bell peppers.

04 of 16

Green Goddess Dressing

Green goddess dressing was popular long before TikTok made it famous. This delicious dressing is made with evaporated milk, green onions, lemon juice, anchovy paste, salt, vegetable oil, fresh parsley, garlic, and tarragon and tastes delicious on your favorite salad.

05 of 16

Seven Layer Salad

Seven layer salad in a clear trifle dish so all layers are visable.
Meredith Food Studios

Anything that can be prepped ahead of time is a 1970s winner. This layered salad looks impressive, but all you have to do is throw some ingredients in a bowl, let it set, and it's ready to go!

06 of 16

Chef John's Beef Goulash

Chef John's Hungarian-style beef goulash is the perfect beef stew to serve over a bed of noodles. Just the smell wafting from the kitchen will have your guests' mouths watering. And it really isn't hard to make considering that most of the time is spent simmering the beef to get it tender and flavorful.

07 of 16

Melinda's Porcupine Meatballs

Make the meatballs the star of the show with this recipe. These meatballs are packed with flavor, and even though they are cooked in a Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce base, you can easily throw them in whatever sauce you're making!

08 of 16

Chef John's Pasta Primavera

Another Chef John specialty, this pasta primavera is loaded with vegetables. Everyone will love the fresh flavors in this pasta — and don't forget the little kick from the jalapeño.

09 of 16

Garlic Noodles

close up view of Garlic Noodles garnished with green onions in a bowl
Chef John

It doesn't get much easier than these spicy garlic noodles. They're ready in 35 minutes, and Chef John says they're delicious served alongside Dungeness crab.

10 of 16

Chef John's Salmon Loaf

Canned fish was all the rage in the '70s, so of course, a salmon loaf had to make it into our collection. It's much cheaper than serving regular salmon, but it's still just as flavorful and protein-packed.

11 of 16

Black Forest Cake

a heroic view of a layered black forest cake filled with fluffy cream and juicy cherries

You can't beat a cake made from scratch — especially when it's as delicious as this Black Forest Cake. Every layer of this three-tiered cake has a sweet filling of frosting and cherries and we promise your guests won't be able to get enough of it.

12 of 16

Watergate Salad

watergate salad
Trusted Brands

If you've never had Watergate Salad, you're truly missing out on an American classic. This five-ingredient dessert salad is so easy to make, and the pistachio Jell-O, whipped topping, walnut, marshmallow, and cherry flavors pair together perfectly for a light and fresh-tasting treat.

13 of 16

Outrageously Buttery Crumb Cake

Don't have a lot of time to prep a cake? Don't worry! This sheet cake only takes 15 minutes to throw together since it calls for a box of yellow cake mix. But the real star of the show is the decadent butter crumb topping that gets added to the cake when it's half baked and again at the end.

14 of 16

Crazy Cake

Talk about easy! This Crazy Cake doesn't even require a separate mixing bowl — you just make it all in the 9x13-inch baking pan. It may be a Depression-era cake, but this moist chocolate cake was a hit in the '70s and will still be a hit today.

15 of 16

Champagne Punch

What's a dinner party without something to wash down all the delicious food? That's where this sweet wine and champagne punch comes in. It's made with cranberry juice, pink lemonade, limeade, white wine, champagne, and carbonated water for the perfect '70s fruity cocktail.

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